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Recorded on March 31, 1992, at the French Institute, Alliance française, in New York City. From the Academy of American Poets Audio Archive.
About this Poem 

“These Poems” originally appeared in Things That I Do in the Dark: Selected Poetry (Random House, 1977).

These Poems

These poems
they are things that I do
in the dark
reaching for you
whoever you are
and
are you ready?
 
These words
they are stones in the water
running away
 
These skeletal lines
they are desperate arms for my longing and love.
 
I am a stranger
learning to worship the strangers
around me
 
whoever you are
whoever I may become.
 

Copyright © 2017 June Jordan from We’re On: A June Jordan Reader (Alice James Books, 2017). Used with permission of the publisher.

Copyright © 2017 June Jordan from We’re On: A June Jordan Reader (Alice James Books, 2017). Used with permission of the publisher.

June Jordan

June Jordan

The author of several books of poetry and political essays,  June Jordan was born in New York City in 1936.

by this poet

poem

Somebody come and carry me into a seven-day kiss
I can’ use no historic no national no family bliss
I need an absolutely one to one a seven-day kiss

I can read the daily papers
I can even make a speech
But the news is stuff that tapers
down to salt poured in the breach

poem
well I wanted to braid my hair
bathe and bedeck my
self so fine
so fully aforethought for
your pleasure
see:
I wanted to travel and read
and runaround fantastic
into war and peace:
I wanted to
surf
dive
fly
climb
conquer
and be conquered
THEN
I wanted to pickup the phone
and find you asking me
if I might
poem

Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’t 
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
the point being

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